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MNZ Dinner 2021

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Tireless volunteer work is the backbone of a national network committed to the wellbeing of a multicultural society. The MNZ Annual Awards Gala Dinner celebrated the efforts and achievements of those in exceptional service to the community

Held in Wellington on Saturday 13th November 2021, community leaders and volunteers gathered to acknowledge the progress made so far, and to consolidate a vision of the work yet to be done. Former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife, Lady Susan, were the guests of honour for the evening.

MNZ President Pancha Narayanan shared the topics MNZ has been championing for the wider community:

1. Te Tiriti: Recent settlers as tangata tiriti

2. Contributing to social cohesion

3. Communities contributing to policy

4. MNZ re-establishing values for senior citizens, and

5. MNZ supporting small businesses

These topics had arisen from extensive conversations throughout NZ communities and are the next concrete steps in the hikoi toward a truly Tiriti-based multicultural Aotearoa.

MNZ always acknowledges that the progress they make is only possible because of the work of their forebearers. “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” says Narayanan. One such giant is Ann Dysart, longstanding rangatira of MNZ, who dedicated her entire public service career to supporting and empowering whānau communities of all backgrounds. Ann passed away in February this year.

For the first time, the main awards ceremony was held in Ann Dysart’s name. These awards are given in the spirit of the six values of E Tū Whānau, a framework that emerged from social inclusion and ‘Settling-In’ endeavours of the past with contributions by MNZ and other community organisations.

The Ann Dysart Distinguished Service Awards:

  • Whanaungatanga: Awarded to Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt, presented by Sir Anand Satyanand.
  • Mana / Manaaki: Awarded to Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika), Victoria University of Wellington, Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, presented Fa'amatuainu Tino Pereira.
  • Kōrero Awhi: Awarded to Professor Michael Baker (Otago University), presented by Wellington Mayor Andy Foster.
  • Aroha: Awarded to Ranjna Patel, co-founder and director of Tamaki Health, and founder of the Gandhi Nivas family violence prevention programme in New Zealand, presented by Pancha Narayanan.
  • Tikanga: Awarded to Waiwhetū Marae, presented by Deputy Commissioner Police Wally Haumaha and received by Kura Moeahu on Waiwhetu Marae’s behalf.
  • Whakapapa: Awarded to Ōrongomai Marae, presented by Moerangi Falaoa-Rakaupai and received by Kannan Alagappan on Orongomai Marae’s behalf

Other Awards given throughout the evening were:

  • Merit Awards were awarded to dedicated volunteers within regional multicultural councils. Winners were Maria Buldain - Waitaki Multicultural Council, Archna Tandon – Christchurch Multicultural Council and Suman Lata – Multicultural Council of Wellington. Merit Awards were presented by Supt. Rakesh Naidoo, New Zealand Police.
  • Life Membership Awards next were for longstanding volunteer contributors to MNZ. Winners were Lonie Martin - Multicultural Council of Wellington and Surinder Tandon - Christchurch Multicultural Council. Life Membership Awards were presented by Lady Susan.

MNZ looks forward to continuing the tradition of an E Tu Whanau-centred awards ceremony in Ann Dysart’s name. Next year, two new categories will be added to the awards: Kotahitanga and Kaitiakitanga.

To finish, Former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand reflected on the night’s proceedings and the foundations and history of this country. Satyanand highlighted the extraordinary progress NZ had made, to come from a time of restrictive immigration policy and attitudes in the 20th century, to such a thriving diversification as we see unfolding today. Satyanand also spoke to the total uniqueness of living in a country founded on a Treaty document, observing that it puts the odds in our favour when aspiring for a flourishing multicultural nation.

MNZ sends its thanks to all attendees, the Kapa Haka, Luo Community and Lion Dance performers, and the volunteers and staff who made the evening possible.

Awards Gala Dinner video


Awards Gala Dinner photo gallery

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